Pacific Rim Blog Spot - Ucluelet & Tofino

"The best cruise in the world" June 17th 2010


Today we met some fantastic enthusiastic counter contacts Alan and Toddy Landry who are the owner and operators of Archipelago Wildlife Cruises out of Ucluelet British Columbia.

Alan and Toddy kindly invited us along on one of their famous Wildlife Cruises. We graciously took them up on their offer to go on "the best cruise in the world". To our surprise, more species of wildlife were viewed then we had ever imagined! We do not for a second take our home here on the West Coast for granted, but sometimes through the hustle and bustle of day to day life and work, one forgets how truly remarkable this part of the world is! It truly is Mother Natures playground, stuffed full of wonders over each wave, and within each turn the Raincoast Maiden made , around every little paradise island of the Broken Group would offer a knew angle of the formations of the natural stone masonry constructed from years of torrent seas, the bends in the West Coast trees derived from gale force Pacific winds, only to come about to the placid seas through Barkley Sound. The area rich and diverse in curious west coast wildlife, the sights, sounds the smell of the salty air, is just as awe inspiring for us who live here, as it is for people who travel all over the globe to visit our wondrous West Coast!

It is definitely hard ,with work, kids and routines to sit back and take in how truly magical the architecture is, made from wind, seas, flora, fauna, rock formations, waves, and currents. From the greenest of green old growth timbers, to fluorescent species of vibrant green seaweed mixed in exotic colors of sea life clung to most every rock visible above the low tide mark, as the swells reach their lowest point, a new heap of sea life become viewable. Screw HGTV and all it's fancy designers, I'd take the wind and waves and their creations any day! Mother nature has a way with design and décor like no other! The time was today, to get out of the office, line up daycare, and kick back relax and set sail!

We boarded the Raincoast Maiden, a 53 foot motor yacht, equipped with a very large upper seating deck, with comfortable seating all the way around, a lower berth composed of leather sofa and seating, large table and chairs, small library, helm, bathroom, and more seating outside on the lower seating deck. We were surprised at how spacious and luxurious boating could be! We set off on our cruise which would take us up through the harbour, to view eagles and bears on our way to the mouth of the harbour to view stellar sea lions, cormorants, seals and then weave through the Broken Island Group in search of whales, Grays and Humpbacks, porpoises, more birds, eagles, otters seals and sea lions, then drop anchor amidst some of the most magical natural elements in the world for a gourmet lunch.

We were in awe as our journey started through Ucluelet Harbour. We viewed eagles amidst the olive green timbers, their nests resting high in the tree tops. Alan made mention that the adult eagles get somewhat aggravated at their maturing young, for littering the nests with fish carcasses, as do we with our teenagers keeping their rooms un-tidy! (I completely understand those eagles, having teens of my own). As we ventured through the harbour we came upon a mother bear and her two very young cubs.

The really neat thing about this trip is it has something for everyone, and is suitable for all ages. For photographers, and nature enthusiasts, this trip is a must! We lack a great camera, and are far from photographers, yet the images we captured of all sorts of wildlife and marine wildlife were just phenomenal!

Alan and Toddy's Wildlife cruises are completely unique and diverse. The tours are very well thought out, and the organization and skill, to cater to all ages and offer such a wonderful array of information and knowledge, on all areas through Barkley Sound, combined with humour of Alan's commentary is sure to bring laughs and smiles to all guests aboard the Raincoast Maiden. We were amazed with how one couple can drive the boat, speak in English and German on the loud speaker as to every area and species of wildlife, serve the lunch and ensure all guests were comfortable and well looked after! The details ensure complete comfort from the gourmet West Coast cuisine(hardly a picnic...more of a culinary work of art) heated cabin, blankets for outside, wine/beer and a plethora of other refreshments, to ultra comfortable seating, and binoculars for all, to even sea bands and gravol to ensure smooth sailing for those without sea legs... every last detail they have managed to think out combined with rugged Pacific North West Coast land and seascapes, abundant wildlife and fabulous West Coast Cuisine ensures the ultimate West Coast experience!

Alan was correct, here at home we are so very lucky to be surrounded in such amazing natural wonders

which are home to many species of critters, after today's journey on the Raincoast Maiden there is absolutely no dispute that we had the honour of going on the best cruise in the world!

Thank you Alan and Toddy for sharing your home with us for the day!


August/2010 - Freedom Cove Tour



   What a fantastic tour through Clayoquot Sound weaving in and out of the islands on our way to our destination FREEDOM COVE!!    The boat came around the corner and there it was a floating wonderland what an amazing place bright coloured buildings blossoming gardens fruit trees and the happiest couple that greeted us as we tied up.  Wayne and Catherine have created this floating wonderland, they took us on a tour of their gardens and home and explaining how they have a gravity feed water line from a creek to their floating oasis.  In the middle of their living room is a sheet of glass that is part of their floor definitely unique to be able to sit in the living room and watch fish swimming under your floor.  We went on this fabulous tour with Browning Passage Charters, they are one of the only tour operators that will run year round.  The operator was born and raised in Tofino the service was great and the atmosphere of the boat is laid back and relaxed.  There was tea and coffee that your able to help yourself to binoculars, we saw a sea otter lots of eagles, seals and sea lions on our way up the Freedom Cove.   The Freedom Cove trip is one we will be going on again in the near future!